Dec. 21st, 2016

adoptedwriter: (Swallowtail Butterfly)
Recently I did my DNA test at Ancestry.com. My results were astounding.

There are mixed attitudes among the adoption community that attempt to hold the adoptee back in terms of making progress with connecting to his or her biological past. Many professionals, (i.e. social workers, clergy and medical practitioners), especially those from older schools of thinking, still believe that we should just be content and thankful for the lives we had; the lives we would never have been able to experience if we hadn’t been adopted. It’s like a Law of Jante in which the adopted individual feels shamed if they speak out and disagree.
Unfortunately, sometimes among fellow adoptees, there is dissention when so many are struggling to accept a reality they despise: that their birth records in some states are legally closed. When one adoptee is fortunate enough to actually find their birth family and have successful relationships, and other adoptees do not or cannot, resentment grows toward the one who had good luck. I see way too much of this behavior in on-line support groups for adoptees and birth parents.
I am one of the “lucky” adoptees. Some people are going to hate me for that, and I have to accept it. Unfortunately, as much as I want to shout from the hilltops about how proud I am of my birth family, my heritage and history, I cannot say much in certain support groups. I am even careful in groups where I trust the members because you never know who might be having a “Bad Adoption Day” and have hurt feelings.
That’s the thing. Another commonality among the adopted is a fear of offending others to the point where it inhibits our own progress, lest we be rejected. Many of us felt rejected at birth, and no one wants to relive that or accidently trigger ourselves.
Back to my DNA results: One thing I learned, that I had no idea about, and neither did my birth sisters, was that I have Scandinavian, (Swedish-Norwegian) heritage. As per the custom of some of my ancestors, among most adopted people I interact with on line, I am very cautious. I begin with restraint and humility. I share very little unless asked. I listen and observe. Then I think and I write and reflect. This practice keeps me out of on-line trouble most of the time.
adoptedwriter: (Swallowtail Butterfly)
My daughter, (Fuzzy1), is in nursing school. She loves all things bloody, gutsy and gory. You cannot gross this girl out. This is the person you want in your corner should things go wrong. She had the knowledge, some experience and a whole lot of tolerance.
She became inspired to pursue something related to medicine at a very early age. Learning disabilities held her back for years but she persevered. You want this girl to be your nurse because she personally knows how to overcome.
She muddled through high school, determined to un-label herself as destined for the vocational track. (Not that there’s anything wrong with vocational education, but she, (and I), felt she was being type-casted by a super-high achieving school district that was a lovely place to study but more focused on their blue ribbon status and bragging rights than teaching to ALL learners.
Fuzzy1 took geo-chem, college prep biology and then anatomy and physiology. She plowed through college prep English and read books and wrote papers with the students regarded as rock stars. She did not graduate with honors and trophies, but she exceeded everyone’s expectations and made it fair and square. Then she went to community college and made Dean’s List with a medical assisting degree. In a year or so she will have a BSN and currently is making all As and Bs! I’m a proud mom!
This is the person you want if you have a crisis. She is very good at what she does. She can take orders when she should and give orders when needed. (She used to be that bossy kid you did not mess with in junior high. Now it’s working to her advantage!)
When my husband was diagnosed with APL leukemia in 2014, she was concerned of course, but also fascinated and inspired by what she saw his care team doing to bring her dad into remission.
adoptedwriter: (Swallowtail Butterfly)
I am not really an overweight person, however in the last 7-8 or so years, I have gained weight, and there’s been no good explanation why. Well, perhaps there is:
In 2007-08 I lost 15 pounds. My niece was getting married, and I had to buy a formal dress plus pay airfare for my kids and me to fly to this wedding. I wasn’t going to miss a chance to celebrate and be happy with my sisters for anything in the world. The problem was, I was short on money.
One way to save a little was to diet down and fit into a dress I had in my closet. It was burgundy, shimmery and lovely. I was extremely motivated, plus dieting meant less spending on groceries and lunch at work. It took four weeks before I lost my first pound. Four lousy weeks! Luckily I started early enough that I still had time, but wow! Four weeks! Really? WTF? What The Fat?
I had to starve and deprive myself of a lot of eating. I avoided going anywhere but my job for three months, but by Christmas break, I did have 11 pounds off and could wear the pretty dress just fine. Four more pounds came off after that.
I was pretty good at keeping the weight off with intense exercise and lots of saying, “No” for a few more months.
My daughter had a classmate die tragically in a car accident in late April. She was devastated, and honestly so was the entire school community. Then I was laid off due to cut backs and had to find a new teaching or aide position. I found one, but it was not an easy workplace in which to function. I was laid off again and began substitute teaching. (No school wants to hire an over-experienced 50-year-old when they can hire a 22-year-old cheaper.)
I also took some grad school classes, but that was stressful because I feared failing. The cost was ridiculous too.
My mother returned from Florida to Ohio to live near me, and within weeks of her arrival had a severe car crash. She could have died, and her recovery was arduous. I missed a lot of work time and ate a lot of meals out of hospital vending machines and puddings out of the “family kitchens” at the rehab place.
Then my father-in-law fell ill and passed away. He was the pillar of my husband’s family, but after he was gone, the family unit broke apart. There was a lot of bitterness and disagreement, and things got ugly. Suddenly hanging out with my recovering, persnickety, cranky mother was more pleasant than feeling judged and rejected by the in-law clan.
My brother in Florida was in big-time legal trouble and had to do prison time. (Think the guy version of Orange is the New Black). Going to jail is stressful on everyone. Among other deeds, he’d conned our mom out of some money, and she was pretty much broke, aside from her social security check, so we had, (and still have to), help out with some of her expenses, and my mom, being old-school, had, (and still has), a hard time understanding why I work three jobs.
My husband had some outpatient surgery that did not heal in 2013, had to have the procedure redone in 2014, and it still did not take. He was beginning to panic but would not do anything proactive. Finally one day he called me at work and asked me to come home. He was in tears. I drive him to an ER because he was either that physically sick or having a mental break down or both. Two hours later he was DXed with APL leukemia! It’s a curable form, but the 12 months of hospitalization, chemo and doctor appointments were challenging. My mother fell the day he was released from UCMC, and I was torn between bringing my husband home from a 4-week stay and leaving my mother bleeding on her living room floor.
I survived on more hospital food and wine.
Then my mother fell twice in 2015. Both were serious falls requiring months of hospital skin surgeries and in-and-out-rehab facilities. She battled the nasty side effects of MRSA and C-Diff. Thanks to great efforts on the part of several hospital staffs, a very kind wound care doctor, my friend, “L” and myself, she has recovered. The Mothership carries on.
Also, in 2015, my birth father died. Throat / tongue cancer is evil, ugly and hideous. The feelings of loss and anxiety over that hit me harder than I expected. My birth sisters had never been through a huge family loss before, and I grieved both with them and for them. I’d already lost two other dads.
During these years of difficulty, the one thing I did for myself was to become a fitness instructor. It’s income and exercise all in one. I don’t have to pay for gym / sports club memberships, which is a sweet perk. I work out 3-5 times a week.
I should be a twig. Right?
But I’m not. I’m not fat, but I’m not slender. I can’t wear that pretty, shiny wine-colored dress anymore. It’s not out of style, so it’s still hanging in my closet for just in case.
I know what I need to do, but now I have bad habits. I eat dinner too late at night. I sip wine and snack more than I should. I need to break these patterns, and it’s super-hard.
I’m still a healthy person and pretty damn fit compared to how my parents were at the same age, (55). Most people don’t think I am as old as I am. I have more energy than a lot of people in their 40s.
I just need to clean up my habits and try to figure out how to get 10 pounds off without starving myself.
adoptedwriter: (Swallowtail Butterfly)
I gotta laugh: When I Googled this expression I saw a Youtube video hit and a link to a definition. I clicked on the link to the meaning, and pop up ads for hunting pants came appeared! LOL

This topic reminds me of redneck humor, and I LOVE redneck humor! I classify myself as an Appalachian American. I come by it honestly via both biological and adoptive family. The stereotypes never offend me. On the contrary, I will admit, there is truth to a lot of it!
That being said, you will never catch me:

1- wearing cammo
2- hunting
3- chewing tobacco
4- wearing Daisy Duke shorts
5- displaying a Rebel flag
6- driving a beat-up truck
7- using expressions like, “as the crow flies”, “good Lord willin’ and the creek don’t rise” or “possum ran over my grave”

I’m a non-traditional hillbilly. I here’s what I do:

1- drive an older car, but it’s not a truck
2- eat meatless a lot of the time, but I do love a good steak once in a while
3- make do and try to fix or at least repurpose things before I pitch
4- have a lot of yard / garden ornaments all year round
5- love Mountain Dew / Diet Dew, (but did not let my kids have it till they were much older)
6- don’t mind / judge people who use poor grammar, (but I avoid using it myself, especially at work and in writing, except for artistic license)
7- avoid wearing shoes, (except for work and the gym)
8- rarely get dressed up, (but when I do I like to go all out!)
9- appreciate and respect old pictures, styles, décor, hand-made items
10- revere my ancestors and their traditions and try to pass it on to my kids

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